Human Resources and Training Managers pay a lot of money hiring motivational trainers to inspire their team’s performance. Here’s three reasons why it is not effective.

1. Motivation Training is a Temporary Solution

Imagine you are unhappy because you have run out of money. If I take you to the movies, you may make you feel better for two hours. But your debt problem doesn’t go away, does it?

The same is true with motivational training.You feel better temporarily, but it won’t solve your real problem.

There’s nothing wrong with making people feel better, but let’s not pretend feeling better is going to make everything better.

2. Motivational Training Avoids Facing The Real Problems

Human Resources professionals love arranging for their people to have fun through motivational training. After all, it does no harm.  Everyone love Human Resources and few of the staff will complain about it.

Many companies use motivational training because it is an easy sell. It’s obvious that people need motivating every so often, right? So, the answer must be motivational training!


But, spending on motivational training can be approved without a hitch. It is not contentious. We don’t have to admit we have a communication, trust or leadership problem in our company. Singing together or practicing trust falls will fix everything.


Motivational Training is often used as an easy option. It allows business professionals to avoid facing the real issues in their company. In this way, they don’t have to admit that specialized training is needed.  They can ignore any conflict, inefficiency or a lack of clear goals that may exist. To plan real training on the real issues would highlight their problems. And, if there is a problem, someone is responsible creating it and someone is responsible for fixing it.

It is a far easier solution to simply motivate people and hope the root causes magically disappear. Sadly, the activities you practice during motivational training are highly unlikely to solve the material issues that await your team when they go back to work.

So, to solve these problems, you must ask the right questions. Why are people unmotivated? Why is morale low? Why is infighting occurring? Where does the frustration arise from?

Motivational training cannot solve these root causes of demotivation. But, if you do not address them, motivational training will be a waste of your money.

3. Motivational Training Makes All Training Seem Pointless

Motivational training is temporary and does not solve the root causes of demotivation, because your people do not learn anything new.

Learning and development should be the foundation of training. It should develop the skills and competencies of your team to meet their goals, not just at work but in life too. Sadly, we trivialize the concept of training when we turn it into treasure hunts and fire walks. It is a disservice to the educational process when we foster the opinion that training is a ‘day out’ or a ‘waste of time’ . On the contrary, training should try to foster the perception of training as a crucial and interesting event that your people want to attend because it brings personal development into their lives.

Corporate learning and development is a process of developing the potential of people and they do that best by acquiring skills in the classroom that they can apply to the workplace and beyond it – their real lives.

So, motivational training can actually become a bad habit that professionals fall into. They think it will solve the problem of morale that cannot be solved using the techniques they have become used to.


Most companies are seeking to solve a certain issue when they seek motivational training. A better way to handle that is to find what the real issue is and find the gap between where we want to be and the skill set that is needed to get there.

Training real-world, useful skills is the best way to motivate anyone. 

The author, Michael Paul Stephens is the founder of Provolution Consultancy, a Thailand-based corporate training business that helps companies build a better culture. His programs have helped thousands of people in diverse companies grow into strong and united teams.



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